The Restart Grant scheme was launched on 22 May and was live on all local authority websites from 29 May. It was advertised extensively both nationally and locally as well as across social media. By mid-June, almost 30,000 applications were received nationally and by the end of July, some 45,000 applications were received.
The Scheme was initially intended to provide grants in tandem with the phased re-opening of the economy as per the Government’s Roadmap. As the Roadmap was accelerated, so too was the scheme available to all eligible businesses and sectors.
In fact, the numbers of applications nationally had begun to taper off as the Government was considering introducing an expanded Restart Scheme, i.e. the Restart Grant Plus Scheme with higher grant levels. Under the expanded scheme, the minimum grant is €4,000 (up from €2,000) and the new maximum grant is €25,000 (up from €10,000). The new scheme also has different criteria to the old scheme.
As the Government decided to introduce the higher grant levels, to the benefit of a much larger group of businesses, it was decided to end the original scheme. It would not make sense to run two similar schemes, with different criteria and grant levels, as it would only cause confusion for applicants and those administering the scheme alike.
Any business that feels it would have been eligible for the original scheme, but for genuine reasons was not in a position to apply before its closure, may appeal to its Local Authority. Further information and application forms for the Restart Grant Plus Scheme are available on the websites of all Local Authorities until 31 October 2020.